Current Elected Position
President, Township of Ocean Board of Education
BS Computer Science, Monmouth University
Board member 2011, 2012, 2016, 2017
Vice President 2016
Senior Vice President - Delivery, GalaxE.Solutions 2007-Present
25 years of Information Technology experience
In my next term as a member of the Board of Education I have a number of goals. I would like to see significant progress achieved towards the completion of our newly adopted district strategic plan. We are off to a very good start. The Board will oversee the completion of our referendum, with facility upgrades in all our schools to support growth in our offerings to our students. The Board continues to look for new methods of improving our communications with our constituents. I would like to see us continue this pattern with the addition of quarterly newsletters and expanded use of social media and district website improvements. Lastly, I would like to see continued efforts in increasing our sources of revenue via grants, shared services, and facility fees for our new referendum projects, to assist in lowering the cost of operations that the tax payers support today.
The current challenges facing our district are common across most districts in NJ. Ocean Township bears a significant portion of the burden for educating our children. School funding formulas show that our town pays “more than their fair share” to support our schools, while school aid from the state is lower today than 10 years ago, by over 2 million dollars. In that time salaries have increased, cost of operations have increased (electricity, gas, supplies), and the cost of health benefits have grown exponentially. While the percentage of tax our town collects for our schools is consistent with other local municipalities, we must continue to push for an equitable share of our state’s aid, continue to pursue grants to support our programs, and identify areas where we can share services with our town and surrounding districts in an effort to contain costs. We do this today and will continue to focus on these opportunities in the future. We are also challenged with keeping our educational offerings up to date with changing curriculum requirements and mandates, as well as with a constantly changing world. I think our staff and administration have done a commendable job in this area.
With our referendum almost completed, we now have the ability to offer expanded educational and athletic offerings to our students. A large focus of the referendum supported the arts in our community. My vision for education in Ocean Township is that we continue to offer students options and paths to succeed, to be engaged, inspired, and to find what motivates them. We are tasked with preparing our students for entry into an ever evolving world. Technology continues to open new doors, there are more opportunities in the arts than ever before, and there is an ever growing need for skilled labor in the trade industries. My expectation is that we will provide a unique educational experience to each student to allow them to be prepared for the next phase of their life, should they decide to continue their education, join our military, enter a trade school, or begin their professional career directly after high school.
As members of the Board, we have been elected by our residents and trusted with the task of serving our community in providing oversight for our schools. As part of that, we make decisions that affect our schools, both educationally and financially. As a member of the board, the responsibility is to act in a manner that supports the best interests of our children while supporting the needs of our staff and administration. A member does this while also being conscientious of the financial effect decisions have on our tax payers and town. A member of the Board may be a parent and is also a tax payer in our town. A member also has a larger responsibility as part of the Board as a whole. Decisions are made through discussion and only when consensus has been achieved. This means a member is 1 of 9 members working together. Lastly, a member is a liaison to our constituents. They are members of our community, attend many functions with our residents, and often have children in our schools. While they can be a good source for information and should promote our schools and their achievements, they should also serve as a facilitator to direct our constituents to the right place when they are approached with questions or inquiries. This is an important piece in the public relations role of a board member.
Current Elected Position
Board of Education Member since 2010
A.A.S. in Advertising
Mohawk Valley Community College
Board of Education member since April, 2010
Chairman of the Board of Ed's Planning & Construction Committee, 2011- 2016
Vice President, Board of Education, 2015
President, Board of Education, 2016
2010 - present
Twenty years of experience in the hotel industry.
I hope that we as a Board are able to strengthen the district's ability to make the most of technology thereby giving our staff and our students access to the most up to date teaching/learning techniques. The world changes at such a rapid pace that we need to make sure we are making adaptability part of our ongoing educational philosophy.
The number one issue facing our district is funding. I doubt you would get a different answer from too many other school districts. Specifically, we face losing $2 million annually if the courts allow Loch Arbour to drop out of our school district. We have also recently had our state funding cut in the first year of a plan that figures to cost our district over $3 million in state aid. With this potential loss in revenue comes an increasing demand in improving our schools, structurally, technologically and professionally, in terms of staffing.
We also face a state government with a hostile attitude toward our district. The paragraph above references the Loch Arbour situation where the state Department of Education violated the law to allow Loch Arbour to create its own non-operating school district. I also already referenced the loss of funding from the state this year. When the Assembly members from your own district vote to take money away from your schools as part of a long range plan to take over $3 million away over the next five years, you can't help but feel that your best interests are not being served.
The challenge I feel most optimistic about is our town's diversity. Our Superintendent and staff have really taken on this challenge aggressively. Trying to merge various cultures, ethnicities and languages into one learning community is a daunting task. There are a great many obstacles that make basic communication an issue but we continue to improve.
As much as possible I'd like to see merit become a more applicable word and philosophy to our district. The problem is judging educational performance is very difficult. Standardized testing is a tool that can be useful, but loses it's usefulness when it becomes a goal. Getting ranked higher as a district in publications is window dressing. Those publications still operate under the notion that college is the ultimate goal of any high school student and that a district needs to be measured on how many of its students gain acceptance thereto. That is simple minded nonsense. Students/children need to assessed according to more than just college placement. Teachers need to be assessed according to more than standardized test scores and seniority. A hard earned "B" should carry value to all stakeholders (students, parents, teachers, administrators) than a soft "A" or a high SAT score.
Usually, keeping quiet.
Effective communication is the key to public relations. The President of the Board is the Board member who represents the body to the public, therefore, selecting an effective communicator as President is key. Showing up at events for the sake of being seen is self promotion more than public relations as is constantly posting on social media. Do good work as a Board and let the President and the school's communication venues inform the public. A Board with nine members all talking at once is chaos, not communication.
Current Elected Position
Member, Township of Ocean Board of Education
PhD, Mathematics, University of Arizona;
BA, Mathematics, Cal. St. U. Fullerton
Board member for two years, 2016-2017;
Assistant/Associate Professor of Mathematics, Monmouth University, 2004-present.
The district and community gave tremendous time and effort last year to the development of a new five-year strategic plan. I consider the Board’s role in monitoring and assisting with the implementation of the plan to be a very high priority. Significant progress on the plan’s goals and objectives should be accomplished by the end of the next three year term.
The biggest challenge facing the district is a financial challenge. Both state funds and tax payer dollars are potentially decreasing in the coming year, while district expenses are not. Identifying new sources of revenue, whether in the form of grants, tuition, or shared services, is more important than ever.
Public education is about creating a civil and informed community, while at the same time preparing young adults to enter the working world or to continue their studies at an institution of higher education. This applies to the Ocean Township community as much as anywhere else. I hope an education from the Township of Ocean School District inspires, informs, challenges, and prepares our children and young adults to live and excel in our ever-changing world.
A good Board member is a good listener - but the Board must speak and act as a whole. We must also make sure the district is communicating effectively with the public – especially students, parents, and the surrounding community. So while a good school board should promote good public relations, individual school board members should be careful not to speak on the Board’s behalf unless delegated to that role by the Board.